Women's Representation At The Comhairle

Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Request Date
Friday, November 17, 2017
Response Date
Thursday, December 7, 2017


 In relation to the report agreed recently at the P&R Committee on women's representation at the Comhairle:

1.When will the positions for women on the MOWGs and HR panels become a reality?  What is the process for bringing these positions about, and the timescale?

2.How many such positions on both MOWGs and HR panels will there be?

3.Also, I was informed by you through my previous FOI request that there will be a seminar for Councillors on women's representation at the Comhairle - when is this and how can I find out what the outcomes of the seminar are once it has been held?


1.  Appointments to HR and other Panels will be made on a case by case basis by the Chief Executive through professional networks reflecting the skills required. In relation to women becoming involved in MOWGs it is intended to seek expressions of interest from a wide cross section of communities on a similar basis to Children’s panel recruitment.  The opportunity will be advertised widely and published on a wide range of media early in the new year with a deadline for expressions of interest in late January/early February.  Prior to the deadline meetings will be held in Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra to provide further information about what is involved, training to be provided and answer any questions.  Following the receipt of expressions of interest interviews will be held if necessary.  The focus of the process  will be to make it as accessible as we can to all women.

2.  It is anticipated that two women will be appointed to each service committee’s MOWG and to the External Strategy MOWG which reports to Policy and Resources Committee. The Chief Executive will have discretion to appoint more or less if circumstances dictate.  It is not intended that appointments be made to the Iolaire MOWG which has been established for a single purpose and already has a number of female representatives.  Those expressing an interest will be able to do so  in a particular MOWG, more than one MOWG or any MOWG. Appointments to HR Panels will be on a case by case basis.

3.  The seminar to which you refer will also discuss how best to involve young people in the decision making process and the Leader has asked that all members discuss any barriers to participation and collate views in their own communities through community councils and other groups so that these can be discussed at the seminar which is likely to take place in February of March.  You may wish to contact elected members directly to put forward any views.  It is intended to issue a press release when expressions of interest in MOWGs are sought which will also encourage people to make their views known to elected members in advance of the seminar.

Please do not hesitate to contact Lesley McDonald directly if you have any further queries. 
Email lmcdonald@cne-siar.gov.uk (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)